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Any tips regarding photo-traveling in Malaysia?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by stratokaster, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Recently I have won a contest, and the prize was a free plane ticket. I can select any destination from a rather limited list, and the most exotic one available is Kuala-Lumpur.

    I've never been to Malaysia. I suspect it's a very interesting country. If some members could advise me some locations worth visiting, I will be very grateful. Also some tips regarding local customs (e. g. is it acceptable to photograph people on the streets) will be appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I moved to Malaysia about a year ago. It's a fantastic place for all types of photography. It has a fantastic mix of culture and religion that makes for great photo opportunities.

    The people are very friendly and street photography is very common around the streets of KL so there is no problem with photographing people.

    The areas around the centre of KL, particular Bukit Bintang are very photogenic. Petaling Street and central markets are excellent for street photography. Check out www.photomalaysia.com.my it is a very active community with lots of info for you.

    You'll also find that photo equipment is tax free here so usually much cheaper than Europe but mostly on par with USA. Low Yat Plaza in centre of KL is a gadget freaks paradise.

    Further afield the islands of Penang and Langkawi are amazing. Langkawi is beach resort heaven and still has a lot of untouched jungle so great for nature photography.

    If you have any specific questions then let me know.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
  4. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
  5. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Richard, thank you very much for your reply and for the links! I will study them.

    In the meanwhile, I have several questions.

    1. What is the best time of year for visiting Malaysia? Is there such thing as the rainy season?

    2. What cities (apart from Kuala-Lumpur) are worth visiting?

    3. Can you recommend some places with architecture in traditional Malaysian style (maybe not in Kuala-Lumpur itself)?
     
  6. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    321
    Jun 29, 2010
    Ottawa
    That's a fantastic prize. If you do end up going to KL and if you can afford the time, be certain to make trips outside of KL; Langkawi for instance. Also, Singapore is a short, 4 to 5 hr bus ride, from KL and Bangkok is not too far away, too. Make the best of your trip as it would cost you thousands if plan on a return trip in the future.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Yes, I have thought about turning this trip into a tour of entire South-East Asia — I assume it should be quite inexpensive to travel between different countries once I get there.
     
  8. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    321
    Jun 29, 2010
    Ottawa
    Singapore is more expensive but there are very good photo ops there. You should go to Singapore if you end up going to KL. I believe my cousin knows of an affordable hostel where you can stay in Singapore. If you plan to go there, send me a PM and I will try to get the details from her.

     
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Congrats Strat. Purchase an ensemble of water wicking clothing. This is the most comfortable clothing one can wear in hot and humid climes. Much better than cotton. Get a few T & Polo shirts and a few buttoned shirts and a couple shorts. Sports/Camping stores typically have a very good selection (ala Columbia brand). A compact/foldable backpack is very useful for impulsive buying. Super light and extremely breathable running shoes work out well for everyday wear (ala New Balance brand).

    Good Luck and Good Shooting,
    Gary

    PS- I was hoping you would come to California. lol
    G
     
  10. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    for travel around SE Asia Welcome to AirAsia.com... Now everyone can fly is the best budget low price airline also I find Cheap Flights - Compare Airline Tickets with Skyscanner.com a good source for price comparisons.

    1. The weather in Malaysia is fairly constant all year round. In the time I have been here I've nto been able to identify a particular "rainy season". It will rain when you visit. Ususally in late afernoon around 3-4pm and ususally only for 1hr.

    2. George Town in Penang is nice. Its a heritage site so lots of old colonial architecture. I've not spent much time there but did stay at a beach resort in Batu Feringi furher along the coast. has great night market.

    Melaka is another good place to visit. About 2 hrs south of KL. A world heritage site and was part of the "Spice Trail" back in olden days. Lots of old architecture.

    Langkawi is more beach resort and jungle than city.

    Singapore is about 40min flight from here although there is also a luxury coach with business style seating that goes to Singapore daily. Costs around $15-20.

    I've not been to East Coast but am told that REdnag Island is very nice. Rainy season on East Coast is from Nov-Mar.

    Terrenganu Jungle in the North East is a bit of a hike but if you like nature and nature photography its great.

    Cameron Highlands, on the road to Penang (slight detour), is very different to rest of Malaysia. Its a tea plantation area in mountians and typically 10deg cooler than KL.

    If you have an option it may be good to consider timing your visit with one of the major cultural events like Thaipussam (spelling?) or Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is particularly good. ITs a big holiday in KL and there are lots of street parades and dragon dances etc. Its at start of Feb 2012.
     
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Malaysia is very nice, KL is a cool town. The Mandarin Oriental hotel next to Petronas Towers is awesome - if you can swing one night in a luxury hotel, make it here!

    Singapore is a super place. Flower photography Mecca, and tons of great architecture.


    My pictures are here
    http://troyandmollyalloverthemap.shutterfly.com/1604
     
  12. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    wow! richard do know a lot about m'sia. which i guess is normal (for a foreigner). :wink:

    i will answer these questions; stratokaster.
    1. What is the best time of year for visiting Malaysia? Is there such thing as the rainy season?
    we have plenty of rain.
    there are two monsoon seasons. the north-east (east cost) and south west
    (west coast - KL). twenty years ago they are quite predictable; but not so now.
    I guess we have the global warming to blame.
    :biggrin:

    anyway, it raining for the past few days. which i guess is good. the rain
    cleared some of the recently haze which is caused by open burning in sumatra. :mad:
    that means the south west wind is blowing... :tongue:


    2. What cities (apart from Kuala-Lumpur) are worth visiting?
    personally, penang and melaka. if fact, Malaysia sort of started off with Melaka.

    Penang is about 3½ hours drive from KL and Melaka 2. they have interesting
    strait chinese cultures.

    kelantan is also recommended. there, modernization has yet really caught up. :2thumbs:


    If you are having a long holiday here, i suggest also kota kinabalu,
    sabah
    and kuching, sarawak. there we have south east asia highest
    peak (mt. kinabalu) and the biggest lime stone cave (mulu aves).
    they are located on the broneo island about 2½ hrs and 2hrs respectively by air.


    3. Can you recommend some places with architecture in traditional Malaysian style (maybe not in Kuala-Lumpur itself)?
    there are 13 states in malaysia. each have unique olden design malay
    houses. melaka and negeri sembilan ones are nice with the minangkabau
    influance. negeri sembilan is only 1 hour drive from KL.

    i might not be making much sense. but do google a little on some the words
    used.

    malaysia is really a food lover paradise!

    and, hotels here are relatively cheaper. for example, a night at the 5 stars
    shagrila is less than US$150.
     
  13. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    341
    Jan 22, 2010
    Chan
    If you like durian :biggrin:
     
  14. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    i assure you we have much more than just durian :wink:
     
  15. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur

    I can agree with that. Food her is excellent and really cheap compared to the West.
     
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I dunno, two Jack-in-the-Box tacos for a buck is pretty good.

    G

    PS- Isn't the West actually east of you?
     
  17. wattseee

    wattseee Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Jun 14, 2011
    +1 for Penang (for the food) and Melaka (for the history). Both are well worth the trip from KL. unfortunately they're opposite directions.

    -1 for Singapore. not necessarily a bad place, but if you're turning this into a multi-country trip there's better places to go. top of that list for me is Cambodia.


    Perhentian islands (east coast malaysia) are supposedly brilliant, especially if you're into scuba diving. I've not been there, but I have been diving in Tioman island which is also quite good.

    If you're doing some diving get yourself an underwater case if you've got the $$
     
  18. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    perhentian, redang, are nice. tioman...mmmm... not so. :biggrin:
    sipadan at east malaysia is nice too.

    islands over the east coast are beautiful. but not so when year end is
    approaching. water's getting chalky but still very much better than the
    west coast.

    east coast island will be closed for activities from around end Oct till
    March due to the monsoon.

    another place could be the national park - taman negara. it too will be
    closed during the monsoon due to flood.

    richard is right in saying the festivals and celebrations in malaysia are
    spectacular because of the multi-culture (malay, chinese and indian).
    it depends on timing since it will follow the calender of the respective
    race.
     
  19. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    mmmm!!! I've lived in the US and I'm not sure I'd class Jack-in-the-box tacos as food. seem to remember they tasted more like cardboard :smile:
     
  20. wattseee

    wattseee Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Jun 14, 2011
    hence the 'quite good' and opposed to 'brilliant'. haha
    trust me, after being stuck in Kluang/Air Hitam for a few months Tioman looks pretty bloody good.